Who Are We?
What Happened to all My Friends?
Did you wake up one day and wonder, "What happened to all my friends? We used to go out all the time."
What happened was that they had children, and became involved in their new lives as parents. For them, parenthood is a wonderful lifestyle, and one that they have chosen to live. For them, it is the right choice.
What about those that are not parents? There are a growing number of couples and singles that do not have children because of choice or circumstance. These individuals can be spontaneous, and they have the time, money and energy to take part in many social activities. But there has always been one problem - who do you share these experiences with when all your friends are parents?
A handful of couples in Bel Air, MD encountered this very problem. Their solution was to co-found the Baltimore Chapter of No Kidding! in May 1999. No Kidding! is an all-volunteer, non-profit social club for couples and singles who, for whatever reason, are not parents. Since its inception in 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, chapters have formed in many cities in Canada and the USA. Membership is open to anyone who has never parented.
"We wanted to provide an opportunity for people in our same situation to share their experiences with new friends, and not feel alienated because of their decision to not parent," stated one co-founder of the Baltimore Chapter.
Baltimore No Kidding! has sponsored many activities, including: monthly dinners around town, snow tubing, movie nights, game nights, Orioles games, fairs, festivals and concerts, dinners in Little Italy, wine tasting festivals, skydiving and craft fairs. Recently, the group has taken trips to art museums, travelled to Gettysburg National Monument, and gathered in members' homes for evening socials.
"In the past, we had a hard time scheduling activities with our friends that are parents. Now we have friends to call anytime and share experiences with together. This has been one of our greatest discoveries since moving to Maryland," state Steve and Lynn Pomponi, a child-free couple from Abingdon, MD and co-founders of the chapter.
If you're interested in making some new childfree friends, you can receive membership information by going to our "Contact Us" page. For an up-to-date listing of the Baltimore chapter's activities, visit our events page.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What does "Child-free" mean, really?
Child-free people are not parents, never have been parents, and most have no desire to be parents. Each individual has their own personal reasons for making this choice. Far from being "selfish" or "self-centered", many child-free people give back to their communities in diverse ways, including charitable work, community activism, and professional excellence.
Do your members dislike children?
No - as a general rule, childfree folks don't dislike kids or parents. We have simply made the decision that parenting is not for us. We get together not for the goal of excluding parents, but to provide a social network for the childfree akin to parents' school and child-based activities.
Does No Kidding! get involved in political action?
The Baltimore Chapter of No Kidding! is intentionally non-political. The group is strictly for the purpose of social gathering, not for public advocacy of the childfree lifestyle.
Who can join No Kidding?
Quite simply, anyone who is not a parent. No Kidding! does not discriminate by age, race, gender, religion (or lack thereof), marital status, ethnicity, policital views, or sexual orientation.
My kids are grown and out of the house/I'm divorced and my ex-wife/husband has custody - am I childfree?
Unfortunately, no. "Childfree" means that you are not and have never been the parent of a child. This is the one rule that we strictly enforce.
Are there any dues? How much does it cost to join?
The Baltimore Chapter has established a nominal dues amount of $10 per person per year. At present, we anticipate this nominal amount to be enough to cover our current expenses, which includes maintaining this web site and our internet domain registration. In the future, depending on our expenses and number of active members, this amount could increase or decrease accordingly.
How do I pay my dues?
You may pay your annual dues at any No Kidding! chapter event. If you must mail your dues payment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get a mailing address to which you may mail your check.
Are there event charges?
We do not anticipate charging members any per-event fees. We do reserve the right to charge non-dues-paying attendees a nominal event fee to help offset the cost of organizing a given event. Most events would not require an attendance fee from anyone. Other than that, members are only responsible for paying their own attendance costs (i.e. restaurant tabs, admission fees, ticket costs, parking, etc.)